Home>Articles>Reedley Chinese COVID Lab Received Tax Credit of $360,000 From Gov. Newsom’s ‘GO-Biz’

Live mice without proper housing and ventilation, and sensitive to the light. (Photo: Reedley Code Enforcement)

Reedley Chinese COVID Lab Received Tax Credit of $360,000 From Gov. Newsom’s ‘GO-Biz’

CDC conducted found more than 800 chemicals at the site and over 20 infectious agents

By Adina Flores, August 2, 2023 4:56 pm

At the epicenter of current controversy, an illegal California lab run by a Chinese biotech firm, Prestige Biotech, was recently discovered in a warehouse in Reedley, California. The lab contained mice which were genetically engineered to spread COVID-19.

According to National Review, “court documents further showed that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) conducted tests on the more than 800 chemicals found at the site and that over 20 infectious agents were found present, including Hepatitis B and C, streptococcus pneumonia, chlamydia, rubella, and Herpes 1 and 5.” As a federal investigation is underway, where will the money trail lead us?

As recently discovered, Prestige Biotech is registered in the State of Nevada, but unlicensed to conduct business within the State of California. Code enforcement officials from the City of Reedley spoke to Xiuqin Yao, President of Prestige Biotech, as identified via emails and court documents. Ms. Yao informed authorities that the company was the largest creditor of Universal Meditech (UMI), Inc. which filed for bankruptcy. UMI had been relocated from the City of Fresno to the Reedley warehouse following an electrical fire, and when UMI ceased operations. According to NBC News, “Prestige Biotech was a creditor to UMI and identified as its successor, according to court documents.”

A document released on March 24, 2019 by Governor Newsom’s Office of Business and Economic Development, a California Competes tax credit allocation agreement of $360,000 was cemented with UMI.*

In 2019, Mr. Zhaoyan Wang, CEO of UMI, praised the Fresno County Economic Development Corporation’s guidance regarding tax credit opportunities and HR resources.

“The EDC has provided us with guidance and HR resources as well as worked with us in terms of the NEO program, which has helped us save a lot of time and working capital on employee hiring. The EDC has also informed us about other incentives available for business, such as California Compete Tax Credit and referred us to proper departments and personnel for further assistance.” – Zhaoyan Wang


A February 2019 article from The Business Journal, reported:

“A Tulare manufacturer of medical devices has made the move to Fresno, and has created 10 new jobs in the process.

Universal Meditechs new home is located in the North Pointe Industrial Business Park near North and Orange avenues. The 3-year-old company develops, makes and sells in vitro diagnostic devices including pregnancy, ovulation and menopause tests.

Zhaoyan Wang, Universal Meditech CEO, attributed lower costs, location and access to a diverse pool of capable employees in making the decision to move to Fresno.

“Everyone in Fresno, from the Economic Development Staff and City Planners to the property owner that offered us beautiful space to lease at an affordable price were wonderful,” Wang said in a statement. “The entire process was smooth and we are extremely happy with our decision to move our headquarters to the City of Fresno.”

The company had determined its previous space was too expensive and didn’t suit their growing needs. Candace Liu, Universal Meditech’s chief operating officer, said the company explored other options in California and even out of state. A tag team effort from the City of Fresno Economic Development Department and the Fresno County Economic Development Corp. played a key role in relocating their manufacturing and research and development operations to the company’s 20,000 square-foot Fresno space.

“We are extremely grateful for their commitment to keep growing companies like us in California,” Liu said.

To date Universal Meditech has hired about 10 new employees in Fresno, and have retained a number of their South Valley employees who decided to remain and make the commute north.

Fresno Mayor Lee Brand attributes the successful move of Universal Meditech, among others, to the availability of a well-trained Fresno workforce combined with an influx of available industrial space offered at affordable prices.

“We have everything that businesses need to ensure ongoing success,” Brand said. “If you are looking for the perfect environment to allow your business to grow, Fresno should be at the top of your list.”

*UPDATE/Correction request: The Globe received a request for a correction from Deputy Director of Communications Heather Purcell and Assistant Deputy Director of Communications (Governor’s Appointee) William Rudman, California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz). I spoke with Mr. Rudman by phone, and further communicated by email.

Ms. Purcell said “Prestige Biotech did not receive any funding through CalCompetes. According to your article, Prestige Biotech was a creditor for Universal Meditech, Inc (UMI), but was never a party to the CalCompetes agreement. Also, UniversalMeditech did not end up receiving any funding through CalCompetes tax credits. 

Universal Meditech, Inc. (UMI) was awarded a $360,000 California Competes tax Credit on 4/11/2019.  UMI did not achieve any of its milestones and was not approved to claim any of the tax credits. GO-Biz recaptured the entire credit and voided the Agreement with UMI.”

However, the tax credit was not rescinded until June 2023, despite being awarded/allocated in 2019. Per a July 2023 article from NBC News, the Reedley warehouse investigation has been ongoing for the past several months. Are you confirming that this investigation and the withdrawal of the tax credit for UMI were in no way, shape or form related? 

The Sacramento Bee reported: “House Speaker Kevin McCarthy joined other local politicians in sounding alarms about the ties between China and a secret lab that was shut down earlier this year in Reedley, talking with reporters Thursday in Clovis.”

“The Bakersfield Republican, who met with the media at his newly opened office in Clovis, said he’d spoken to local officials earlier that day about the “disturbing” discoveries out of Reedley. He pledged to take these concerns back to the select committee on China he convened shortly after becoming Speaker of the House this January.

“My concern is to get to the bottom of what happened here,” he said, “but also … where’s this happening in other parts of this country?”

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68 thoughts on “Reedley Chinese COVID Lab Received Tax Credit of $360,000 From Gov. Newsom’s ‘GO-Biz’

  1. Serious stuff!! Where is our CCP apologist telling us this is no big deal? Will the state get to the bottom of this or will this be a cover up to protect those at the top of the food chain?

  2. Just like The Gipper used to day, “there you go again.” The mice weren’t “genetically engineered to spread COVID-19.” They were genetically modified so they are susceptible to the disease and they serve as indicators of viral particles. I’m not defending Prestige. I hope their place is taken by legitimate operators who follow rules and take biosafety seriously.

    Just pointing out that California Globe’s description is hyperbolic.

    1. “The lab contained mice which were genetically engineered to spread COVID-19.”

      If people believe that the mice were engineered to SPREAD the Wuhan Virus, this would align with the CCP narrative (and Fauci’s) that the virus’ origin was natural (not man-made in a lab) and could “jump” from animals to humans. As I recall, there was one story where a person was alleged to have contracted Covid from her pet cat. But aside from this one dubious case, there is no evidence or reports that I know of which definitively indicates that animals can transmit the virus directly to humans generally. There have been many mutations of the original Wuhan version since it first appeared, so I would tend to agree with @Science Facts’ assertion that these were probably test animals for the product being marketed by the company. Genetic engineering requires a Level 4 facility of which there are only a few. Does anyone know where the mice came from?

  3. Kudos to Adina Flores who has once again used her investigative reporting skills to uncover the money trail of corruption and waste of taxpayer dollars. Maybe Fresno, Reedley and Fresno County officials need to do a better job of scrutinizing businesses that are being clandestinely set up with little oversight? Did any of them do background checks on Xiuqin Yao, President of Prestige Biotech, or Zhaoyan Wang, Universal Meditech CEO, along with other employees connected with those companies? Probably not? No doubt the FBI and other weaponized federal alphabet agencies are too busy spying on parents who dare to speak out at school board meetings to be bothered with investigating whether these labs might be connected with the CCP?

    1. Reedley wasn’t even aware that this company was in town! They apparently had not signed up for water/garbage service, thus the water hose connected to “somewhere”. Signing up for city water requires giving lots of information, including bringing your social security card in, a lease agreement or deed to the property, and other information. Last year when I was getting a rental house in Reedley ready to sell, even though I’d previously had service at the house, I had to provide all of that information. This company was obviously skirting requirements to be there. The rest of the story is very suspect and the “explanation” by Magsig was ridiculous.

  4. Wait a minute. This looks like the City of Fresno and the State of California had full knowledge of this Chinese Lab and even financed it. Why are they saying now they are “surprised?” There’s much more to this story.

  5. “We are extremely grateful for their commitment to keep growing companies like us in California,” Liu said.

    Growing WHAT ? Bioweapon materials???
    Please stay on this one HARD, Globe reporters… something tells me this has international implications that go much deeper than simple lax procedures…
    What are thé principal’s connections to the CCP, one wonders..

  6. This needs national attention.
    There are a few national outlets that are not controlled by the politicians.
    PLEASE! Approach them with these truths.

  7. Thank you for reporting on this, no other major media seems to have. This is very alarming, hopefully this attention will draw more investigation.

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